Beavs will have to be road warriors

PROBABLY CAN'T MENTION enough just how difficult an early challenge faces the Beavs in 2010 -- Oregon State goes on the road, in the first three weeks of the schedule, to take on two of the highest rated teams in the nation. Just how highly ranked?

Official rankings by the AP and USA Today Coaches' polls won't come out until next month -- last year the Coaches' poll came out on Aug. 7, the AP was a couple weeks later on Aug. 22.

But there are still plenty of rankings out there.

And they all indicate TCU and Boise State -- whom the Beavs will meet on the road in two of the season's first three weeks -- will be not only in the Top 10, but possibly also in the Top 5.

Boise State, whom Oregon State meets on Sept. 25, is the consensus No. 3 team in the nation (so far) on the Stassen preseason magazine tour, with Lindy, Athlon, TSN, Phil Steele and Rogers Poll checking in.

TCU, the Beavers' season opening opponent in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 4, is slotted at No. 5.

Many more magazines' Top 25s will be surfacing in the coming weeks but the overall rankings for TCU and BSU aren't expected to shift much, if at all.

Oregon State, by the way, is a consensus No. 27. On that list, only The Sporting News has the Beavs in their Top 25.

ADD INTO ALL of this that OSU, for all its accomplishments the past four years, has stumbled out of the gate badly in the early going.

After three consecutive seasons of starting seasons with a 2-3 record, the Beavers began 3-2 in 2009 -- still not exactly the ideal.

Now in 2010, Oregon State has only two of their first five games at home, and they face not one but two Top 5 caliber teams in the first three games. It really couldn't be much more difficult for Mike Riley's Beavs.

But if the Beavers can go out and grab some early wins and surprise some people, well, look out the rest of the way.

Oregon State's fall camp gets underway Aug. 9 -- just barely more than a month away from now.

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